“Dhoni finishes off in style. A magnificent strike into the crowd. India lift the World Cup after 28 years”, these words from Ravi Shastri will surely resonate in the memories of Indian Cricket for an eternity and so will the man who scripted it all, India’s very own captain cool, Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Born on 07 July 1987 in the small town of Ranchi in then Bihar and now Jharkhand, Mahendra Singh Dhoni has achieved every single feat a captain of a cricket team can. Not just that, he probably did enough to become one of the best and arguably the fastest wicket-keeper cricket has ever witnessed. His story was so unlike the usual rise through the ranks from junior cricket to the senior level, but still was good enough to earn him a place which only a few have achieved till date. The long free flowing hairstyle, the helicopter shot, and that calm under pressure pictures the man India has often loved to hate the most. As a captain, he stepped up and took the responsibility for every single and at times even had people pelting stones at his house, but when he led his side to a win, he stepped aside to let the youngsters enjoy all the limelight. Despite an entire movie being created on his life, there are still many facets of “The” Mahendra Singh Dhoni which fans still urge to know. So here is everything about MS Dhoni from his love for cars to the many brands he has endorsed that have been left unspoken till date.
Full Name: Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Height: 5’9″ (175 cm)
Weight: 70 kg
Father’s Name: Pan Singh
Mother’s Name: Devki Devi
Nickname: Mahi, Thala, Captain Cool
Date Of Birth: 07 July 1981
Place Of Birth: Ranchi, Jharkhand (Then Bihar)
Residence: Harmu Housing Colony, Ranchi, Jharkhand
Spouse: Sakshi Singh Rawat
Children: Ziva (Daughter)
Siblings: Jayanti Gupta (Elder Sister)
Narendra Singh Dhoni (Elder Brother)
Net Worth: $111 million (805 Crore INR)
Born on 07 July 1981 to Pan Singh and Devki Devi, Mahendra Singh Dhoni was the third child of his family. His father Pan Singh was a junior manager in MECON (Metallurgical & Engineering Consultants (India) Limited) and his mother was a housewife. His family belonged to the middle class and Dhoni did have to prioritise money before anything else. He started his schooling at DAV Jawahar Vidya Mandir, at Shyamali in Ranchi, Jharkhand, where he started playing Football as a goalkeeper and also managed to make it to the club level in Badminton. He was sent to play Cricket at the Commando Cricket Club by his football coach where he instantaneously impressed everyone with his wicket keeping skills. Dhoni did keep his studies intact as well and excelled in academics pretty fairly. He had a very special bonding with his sister who always helped him out of every problem. Dhoni was a notorious child and kept doing mischiefs with his friends every now and then. After playing some junior level cricket, Dhoni worked as a TTE at West Bengal’s Kharagpur Railway Station from 2001 to 2003, after which he decided to dedicate every bit of his life to Cricket.
Dhoni’s first stint with the bat came with the Central Coal Fields Limited (CCL) Team, where he was picked up by Deval Sahay, President of the Ranchi District Cricket. Deval Sahay used to offer Dhoni Rs.50 for every six he hit and once Dhoni started batting up the order, he made sure a lot of them kept coming in. He took CCL to the A division single handedly and delivered an awful lot with the bat. Deval Sahay used all his contacts to ensure Dhoni’s hard-hitting talent doesn’t go in vain. He managed to get Dhoni a place in the Ranchi side and played a crucial role in his selection in the Bihar Junior Team. All that did not end there, Dhoni was now playing for the Bihar Ranji Team within a year of taking CCL to the A division. Dhoni didn’t taste instant success there though, as he managed to score just 176 runs from the seven innings in the five matches he played for the Bihar U-19s. That performance was surely not going to be enough to see Dhoni playing for the East Zone U-19 or the Rest Of India Squad. Next up, it was the 1999-2000 season of Cooch Behar Trophy where Dhoni’s excellence with both bat and behind the stumps helped Bihar U-19 reach the finals. Dhoni did excel in the final as well, where his 84 helped Bihar amass a total of 357 against Punjab U-19. However, the script was nowhere in favour of Dhoni as Punjab U-19 scored 839 runs with Yuvraj Singh taming the Bihar side single handedly with a score of 358 to him alone. It was then that MS Dhoni realised he still had a lot to do to get himself amongst the best in India.
With Junior Level now done and dusted, it was now Dhoni’s turn to impress on the senior stage. He played for the Bihar Senior Team the 2000-01 Ranji Season but failed to deliver what was expected of him. He then moved away from Cricket and started working as a TTE. After two years, he came back to realise his dreams of playing cricket and this time, hit out for the Jharkhand Ranji Team. With tons and tons of dedication behind him, Dhoni kept impressing one and all to earn himself a call up to the India A squad for the tour of Zimbabwe involving Pakistan A. Dhoni went chaotic with the bat scoring two centuries and a half-century against Pakistan in the three matches he played. His performances were good enough but not good enough to earn him a place ahead of Dinesh Karthik. An year later however, Dhoni did get a chance to play for India as he was selected for the tour of Bangladesh. He failed to put up a good showing with the bat but rather surprisingly got picked for the following Pakistan series. Dhoni made sure this surprise gift got the treatment it deserved as he scored a whirlwind 148 to blow Pakistan away in the second ODI and register the record for the highest-score by an Indian wicket keeper. By the time the year ended, Dhoni had one more record to his name, a 183 against Sri Lanka that still stands as the highest score in the second innings of an ODI.
Dhoni never looked back after that, he kept bailing India out of trouble every now and then and became the finisher India so were desperately longing for. With Mahi impressing one and all, it was now time to unleash the Captain Cool. With India knocked out of the 2007 World Cup, tremendous criticism flooded in for the Indian Cricket Team. A revamp was the need of the hour, and for that to happen, the BCCI took some major decisions. Dhoni was handed over the captaincy of the Indian Cricket Team with little and no experience for the first ever ICC T20 World Cup. Dhoni orchestrated his squad to perfection finishing as champions in his very first tournament as a captain. Series after series, Mahendra Singh Dhoni only kept getting better. The ODI series win in Australia stamped his authority as captain even further. The focus was now on the big prize, the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. Dhoni built up a young team and was heavily criticised for axing a few big names, but Dhoni knew exactly what he was doing. It was the 2nd of April in 2011, when the words of Ravi Shastri resonated throughout the nation and a picture of India’s most loved captain hitting his signature helicopter shot became the blockbuster shot of the century. Dhoni had quit captaincy when he felt it was the better thing to do showing yet again that for him, the team always came first.
Cars & Bikes Owned
Land Rover Freelander 2
Ferrari 599 GTO
Mitsubishi Pajero and Outlander
Maruti Suzuki SX4
Royal Enfield Marchismo
Harley Davidson Fatboy
Kawasaki ZX14 R
Kawasaki Ninja H2
Bungalow in Ranchi, Jharkhand
Kailashpati, farmhouse in Ranchi, Jharkhand
4 Flats in Andheri, Mumbai
Apartment in Meyammai Towers, Chennai
Hotel Mahi, Main Road, Ranchi, Jharkhand
Brands & Teams Owned
SportsFit Gym Chain
Mahi Racing Team India
Seven (Fashion Brand)
Exide Life Insurance
Gulf Oil India
State Of Jharkhand
Mahendra Singh Dhoni avoids being seen while he is doing some charitable work. He more or less does it for his own satisfaction and keeps it a secret. In 2015, he managed to collect 20 lakh INR for the Indian Army while playing in a Help for Heroes charity match. He often keeps donating to orphanages and children foundations to help them grow and lead a happy life. However, as has always been the case, his charity works are not spoken about as he wishes to keep them only to himself.
We may get a better captain, may be a better wicket keeper as well than Mahendra Singh Dhoni, but we for sure will never get another man who stepped up and took all the responsibility for a defeat and hid himself behind the young guns when the same team cherished the glory of a victory. We just wish the end of MS Dhoni on field that is looming large ever since he stepped down as India’s captain stays away for as long as possible and Dhoni keeps delivering those out-of-nowhere runouts that we’re so used to by now.